Jessica Cejnar / Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 @ 7:08 a.m. / Emergencies
(UPDATED) EMERGENCY: Residents of Gasquet and Surrounding Areas Ordered to Evacuate 'Now'; Highway 199 Closed to Through Traffic
Emergency officials are ordering Gasquet residents to evacuate due to a fast-spreading wildfire that has overtaken the agricultural station and Oregon Mountain Road.
Due to the number of other fires in the area, resources are thin and firefighters are engaged in life and property-preservation only, Kymmie Scott, Del Norte's emergency services manager, told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Wednesday.
The Del Norte Office of Emergency Services has set up a temporary evacuation point at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds on U.S. 101 in Crescent City. However, because of COVID-19, emergency officials are not sheltering anyone at the fairgrounds, Scott said.
"If people end up needing shelter — if we lose Gasquet — we will work with the Red Cross to put people up in hotel rooms," she said. "I want people to go to the fairgrounds and stay in their cars unless they have a friend's house they can go to.'
Del Norte's emergency alert system sent notices to about 600 people, Scott said, though she doesn't know exactly how many residents will evacuate.
Meanwhile, though Hiouchi residents don't need to evacuate yet, they should have supplies ready in a Go Bag, Scott said. Those with livestock should start moving them now and residents should have a plan on where to move pets if need be, she said.
Though U.S. 199 is closed to northbound traffic, people can evacuate south, Scott said.